Sunday, March 18, 2007

respecting my eldgers

Elder bloggers. Not older in years on earth necessarily, but on the food blogger scene, certainly. They come with experience and attitude. They should be respected more. So here, I will pay mine to two.

One is a meat master.
The other is mad.
They both rock.
And roll.

(can I get a drumroll and E-chord please)

Okay....First. Dr. Biggles recently commented that I will no longer be known as D-man over at the Henge. His logic was bulletproof. Monkey Wrangler is far better than D-man. I figured I should listen to the wise ways of the master, who with a site so exquisitely named, obviously has the upper hand in discerning title recognition. An image of the mythical meat heaven came to mind, and I saw a big red-bearded angel engaging in discourse with a file clerk:

"You know, maybe you should uhhh, change your HELLO MY NAME IS tag Bro."

"Yes, yes Mr. Meathenge.......I mean, Sir Angel of Meat. Thank you, I'll get right on that!"

So, I went into my Blogger profile and updated it. From now on, my posts will be signed Monkey Wrangler. D-man still exists. He's right here. He just has a better, more modern and descriptive title. You can still call me D-man if you want, many of my friends do, and it's easier to sign, but if I were a real livestock rancher, my critters cows say, I'd be a cattle rancher right? So if the animals I tend to are little and pink, somewhat hairy, that often screech and break stuff, have incredible strength and the ability to climb everything, I'd be a monkey wrangler. Which I am.

Thanks Biggles. This picture of St. Patty's Day pork butt and brisket goes out to's a bit out of focus, as I was.

Second. Cookiecrumb had been experimenting with a recipe of mine, and I believe her version was better. Why? Because I made my own version of hers. Really, that makes this a version, of her version of my version, of my grandmother's version of my great-grandmother's version of rice torte.

Do I hear another version? Any takers?

Cookiecrumb's version was brilliant in it's use of maitake paired with asparagus. Funny thing is, my family version doesn't have mushrooms anywhere near it, but my winter take on it did. While my use of trumpets instead of say, crimini, were a nice change, cc's take on using maitake instead was perfect. I tried it that way and was very impressed. I will qualify all this by saying that mushrooms in a rice torte change the character of it completely, and with veggies other than zuchinni in it, it is certainly not grandma's.

It is something new and exciting and worth a try. Thanks for the take on it cc! This is one that will be had again and again, during the winter and spring while awaiting the tender young summer squashes. So yeah, you could easily call that an "Intant Tradition." And since she didn't give you a recipe of a recipe of a recipe, I will. It goes something like this:


1 bunch asparagus (1 pound)
1 large yellow onion
4 ounces maitake (hen of the woods) mushrooms
10 ounces baby spinach
1 large carrot
2-8 cloves garlic

1 c arborio rice
4 c milk
1/2 stick butter

6 eggs
1+ c grated dry jack

simmer rice in milk and butter (in a small covered pot) with salt and pepper to taste, until tender but not completely done (about 20 minutes). while cooking rice, saute chopped onions and mushrooms, along with thinly sliced carrot in olive oil. when onions are translucent add chopped asparagus and garlic. saute until most of moisture is gone and the veggies are soft. toss in spinach and saute until it begins to wilt. remove from heat and set aside. crack the eggs and mix with grated cheese. combine the rice, veggie saute, and egg/cheese mixture and fold thoroughly, (being careful to temper your eggs into the mix if the ingredients are hot enough to cook them). pour into a 13x9 inch glass or ceramic dish and sprinkle with more grated cheese. if the ingredients are hot going into the dish, then no need to grease it as the mix will melt it and incorporate your well intentioned plans, making this step unnecessary. bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes, depending on the initial wetness of the mix in the pan and the degree of brown you like on the top. and like cc's version, save the nicest looking tips of the asparagus to impress your friends with cool projectile toppings. serve with beer, or wine, or water. it's all good.

Thanks eldgers. For paving the way, and showing us newbies where the trail is.......


drbiggles said...

Yeah, I think you could count me higher on the attitude than anything else.

Had my rice torte again last night for dinner. Creamy goodness and the assperogus didn't make it funky after aging a few days.

Am working on the post at the moment.


Callipygia said...

I would love to get my hands on some chicken of the woods...I've only heard how wonderful they are. All the buzz about the rice torte is making its way East.I will definitely make a version to start my own instant tradition.

cookiecrumb said...

Wow, what a phenomenon!
Rice torte is making its way east.
How cool that you rejiggered your recipe, MW. I'm beyond flattered. I'm also inspired by your tweaks: spinach, carrot. Cool.
OK, so Biggles. Your aspergs didn't go all wonky after a day or two. That is good. Mine got a bit sour-ish, but it's all about chemistry, I suppose. Not enough milk in my version, I suspect.
(Which is not a religious comment.)

Monkey Wrangler said...

Biggles: It was probably your attitude that kept the asparagus from going bad. It was afraid of you doing something involving fire to it. Around the ranch, we eat the stuff for two or three days straight.....

I'll comment on about the Motel Hell on your post.

Calli: Yeah, when you find the woody chickens, grab 'em fast and cook ASAP. I look forward to hearing about your version.

CC: Ahhh thanks! I'm just tickled that other folks are doing their own thing with it and letting me's inpiration to keep experimenting with flavor combos. I'm heading over to the Henge right now to check out his "vegetarian" one.

Schweitz said...

After a short absence I have returned and begun browsing your blog - Becks & Posh are right about the vegan cousin posting - funny and unique. The meat (even unfocused) looks better than the rice torte to me, but I may be biased by my new cooking toy - a rotisserie for my grill! Thanks for tagging me - even if it was only 'cause I'm new and I hope you enjoy my five "revelations."

Stacie said...

yum yum yummy yummy yum! I will have to make your version of cc's version of your recipe... I think that's what just happened? Thanks for the recipe...

Chris said...

I attempted your rice torte and I am in love (posted today)! A friend stopped by after it came out of the oven and helped herself - not speaking as she scarfed it down. Mine is slightly different than both yours and cookiecrumbs (mainly because I used what was in the fridge). Like Cookiecrumb wrote in her original post, I was new at cooking the rice in milk (and a bit skeptical), but with a watchful eye - it worked out well. Nonetheless, this will be a regular in my household. Thanks for starting this frenzy! :)

Monkey Wrangler said...

Schweitz: Good to hear yer back bro! I'll go check out the 5. Thanks for the kind words and dropping me a line.

Mmmmmm, rotisserie............

Stacie: Neato! I'm hoping new versions will pop up until I can do a post of the real deal with zucchini. I'm keeping track of the versions so let me know what happens.....

Chris: Sounds like your Italian cooking sensibility kinda drove you toward the original recipe a bit. Looks great! Thanks for dropping by the monkey ranch.

Lannae said...

Ah, we have tried smoking a brisket and a pork butt at the same time with the same method. I like it though! Perhaps, this spring or fall, when we feel like we need a lot of meat, we will smoke each side by side so we can compare to which one we like better. Here in TN, we take smoking quite seriously.

Monkey Wrangler said...

Hey there Lannae! Thanks for dropping by. I will be doing some experiments for sure, as here in CA we have some serious smoke. I can't wait to spend another 12 hours in my back yard with a huge hunk of brisket.